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More like a heartbreak

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After the fire, realizing how bad she was physically affected, and since she was unconscious and not giving any signs of waking up, Red took Liz to the hospital. There, he found out a threat that he could never get rid of. Elizabeth was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease, he’d been told, and from that moment he wished he could keep her in his arms forever and avoid her any annoyances or dislikes that could rip her out of his arms forever.

He had been given general advice like low-salt food and medicines among other things. The most important one was that she had to lead a peaceful life otherwise, it could end in heart failure and after that he knew very well what could happen, so he had soften the road for her. He tried to make things for her as smooth as possible and he even payed some doctors to continue prescribing her the necessary medicines but disguised as something else.

Elizabeth’s decision on becoming an FBI agent was a surprise and a concern to Red but he was a little relieved that she decided to be a profiler because he knew that she wouldn’t be chasing criminals. Red even told Elizabeth’s condition to the FBI assistant director Harold Cooper, who reluctantly accepted to keep her out of harm’s way. He hadn’t wanted for her to know because he knew that she was going to limit herself and keep herself from growing, enjoying and discovering the world, so he decided to do everything in the shadows, and now, he was regretting everything he had done to her that had led to that moment.

 

Present day
Elizabeth was sitting in her office, watching the images of Reddington entering and getting out of the hospital where her father Sam was and exactly in the time that he died. She was feeling anger, disappointment and even desperation to yell at him, but more than that, she was feeling sadness. Sadness because she finally accepted her feelings for him and now, he had betrayed her in the worst possible way, by taking her father from her.

She was sure what to do, she needed to confront him and ask him why, not only why he killed her father but why he broke her illusions of getting to know him. Elizabeth was sure that deep inside, Raymond Reddington was a good, kind and loving man, not only the feared criminal and notorious liar. She was feeling rage, and the hot tears falling down her cheeks, she desperately needed to take out all the feelings she had, so he took her keys and headed towards the post office elevator. On her way to the exit she was greeted by a wave of dizziness so she leaned on the door frame of her office trying to steady herself and her rapid heartbeat. Finally able to walk, she continued on her way to the exit, ignoring the pressure that started to accumulate in her chest. She could only concentrate on what she was going to tell Reddington because she knew that he always found a way to change things in his favour.

The way to the safe house was a complete hell, she couldn’t see very well and she knew that it wasn’t only because of the tears cascading down her cheeks, something was blurring her vision and she nearly crashed. Her head was spinning between the love that she desperately wanted to deny for Reddington and all the anger towards him.

She finally made it to the safe house, the pressure in her chest hadn’t grown but still was there. When she was getting out of the car she felt another wave of dizziness hit her but she thought it was due to all the emotions she was feeling. Actually, it was something worse than just emotions, and it was yet to come.

Reddington was sitting on his peaceful sofa with a book in one hand and a glass of scotch in the other, when he heard a car parking at the front of the safe house and since Dembe was attending business in another city, he decided to check who was out there, somehow knowing who it was but still wanting to see. Right when he stood, a feeling that lodged in his stomach, told him that something was wrong.
The moment he looked through the window, he knew Elizabeth wasn’t okay, she was steadying herself with the car’s door, and had she been crying? He could see that she was pale and a combination of emotions were passing through her face. He opened the door only to find her perfectly composed, but the feelings were still there.

“Lizzie, what brings you here?” he asked, in expectation of finding the reason of her visit at that time of the night.

“I am here for you,” she answered with such a low tone that he barely heard her, and he detected a sad tone on her voice that made his heart twist.

“What’s wrong?” with a concerned and urgent tone he asked, he needed to know what was happening and why Elizabeth was acting like that.

“You tell me.” She gave him the photos in which he appeared entering and exiting the hospital where Sam was. Deep inside Reddington knew that somehow she would find out, but he hadn't thought what to say to her when that happened.
Red knew that an angry and desperate Elizabeth was talking and that he needed to keep things calm for her sake, but it was too late when she started speaking and more than that, yelling at him.

“You were in the hospital when he died.” Liz's eyes were hard with anger. “Did you kill him?” she demanded, furious voice raising and echoing loudly in the stillness around them.

“Lizzie, please let me explain,” he said, trying to gain her attention above the screaming.

“What are you going to explain?” she scoffed bitterly past the painful ache in her throat.
“How could you?! He was my father!” she howled her grief.

“Lizzie, please calm down this won’t do you any good.” Reddington replied, with a more anxious voice because he knew that he wasn’t going to win this time, and that threatened Elizabeth’s life.

“Why? What did he do to you that you had to kill him?” Elizabeth couldn't think of something her father would have done that would cause Reddington to kill him.

A moment of silence passed before he could reply something that wouldn’t worsened the situation. “He was suffering, I just released him. Please Lizzie, he wasn’t thinking coherently, the cancer was all over his body.”

“You took the person I love the most in my life! And you are trying to justify it.” She was now out of control, she couldn’t even stand still, the adrenaline was rushing through her body, so she started pacing around the room. Everything that she was feeling was threatening to explode but she wanted to remain coherent and to get the answers that she was looking for.

“He was my friend and I’m not trying to justify anything.”
The moment the words escaped his mouth, he regretted it because now he was also arguing with her, and that was the last thing he wanted.

“We’re done. I’m done with this! With you always keeping things from me and-” she started crying, but she wanted to finish so she continued “and not letting me get to know you, I was finally getting to accept you in my life but you keep hurting me,” she said between sobs.

Elizabeth’s words were like a punch in Red’s gut and he tried to reply “Lizzie, I’ve never wanted to hurt you, I only want you to be happy and safe.” He desperately wanted to tell her everything that he felt for her, he wanted for her to understand that all was true. That he felt a warmth in his heart every time he saw her, that he wanted to take her in his arms and kiss her passionately until they ran out of air. But that wasn’t happening.

“I don’t believe you! I- I-”, she started to sway and her vision was blurry, she couldn't focus but she didn’t want Red to see her like that, weak and defenseless. She tried to move but her foot didn’t respond, everything was spinning around her.

“Lizzie! Are you ok?” Red tried to take her in his arms to keep her on her feet but she abruptly escaped from him, which made him go back a few steps.

Liz didn’t know what happened, she seemed to be recovering from whatever had happened but she didn’t want Reddington to help her so she decided to end it once and for all, avoiding thinking about what she felt for him.

“As I said, I’m done, I don’t want anything that has to do with you, I’ve been trying to really get to know you but you always make it impossible so it’s better if we leave it for good before someone else gets hurt.” Elizabeth couldn’t bare to think how her life would be without Reddington, without his tenderness or his scent whenever he embraced her but what he had done was unforgivable. How he couldn’t understand that? She just wanted him to be honest.

Red couldn’t think of anything that could tell her, she seemed so sure, but he wanted to try so he said “Lizzie, please stay and let me finish explaining, it’s very late and as I see you, you are not fit to drive.” He stood still, not wanting to upset her even more.

“You have no right to tell me what I can do! Leave me alone! You are a monster.”
With that, she turned towards the door to leave when a pain in her chest made her stop short, she felt a great pressure that did not let her breathe.

It was at that moment when Reddington knew that what he had tried to avoid for so long was happening before his eyes.
He rushed to her side.

“Lizzie, what’s wrong?!”

“This is your fault! you- yo” but she didn’t finish. She started to fall and was saved by Red’s arms just before she hit the floor.
“Agh!” She cried in pain, with her hand on her chest. What the hell was that? Did he have so much power over her that she couldn’t even control her body?

“Lizzie! Please talk to me,” he demanded.

“I- can’t- bre- breath”, she said between gasps, trying to inhale some air, but it felt like something was obstructing her lungs and that her chest was on fire or maybe it was her heart.

“You need a doctor right now.” he took her in his arms and carried her bridal style, imagining that he wanted to do that but in different circumstances, maybe in the beach or in any other happier situation, but not like this, when she could die right there. The fact that he wasn’t wearing a 3 piece suit, was really helpful, since he was using his vest and shirt, it made him have more mobility.

Reddington opened the door as best as he could, since Dembe wasn’t there to help him. They reached the black Mercedes after a few steps. Red opened the passenger door and put Lizzie there as gently as he could, her body was like leather in his arms. He put her in the seat belt and before taking his place at the driver seat, he returned to the house in order to find something that he would have never wanted to use. He even started feeling the sweat on his forehead, he was getting old to do this stuff but he wouldn’t let anything stop him from saving Elizabeth. He didn’t care that it would be the last good thing he do in his life, save her, like he couldn’t through the years. Maybe this time he was saving her from himself.

He opened the first drawer in the house and took a medicine box in which it read digoxin, doctors had given it to him to use in case a heart failure happened.
He took the medicine along with a water bottle as fast as he could, not forgetting to call 7 on his cell phone, a speed dial number that he had only for her in case of an emergency. He arranged it because he knew that one day this would happen, so after he was given a location, he rushed to the driver seat.

Red would never forget that image of his Lizzie in the passenger seat, with cold sweat on her forehead, her hand still trying to lessen the pain and if anything, she looked even weaker and paler. She was still conscious which he thanked, because he knew it was due to her warrior spirit.

“Lizzie, here, have this.” he gave her the pill and then started the engine.

Elizabeth made an incredible effort to take the pill but finally she managed to take a sip of water which nearly made her choke due to the lack of air in her system.

Red tried to comfort her with soothing words “It’s okay Lizzie, it’s okay, just do nice deep breaths, okay?” He had to do everything that was on his power to keep Liz conscious. He saw that some of her features were relaxing but her face was still twisted in pain and he proved that when she winced in pain and tried to press even more her chest with her hand, knowing that that wasn't a good sign, he sped up, getting to the location in less than 10 minutes.

The trip was torture for both of them, for him because he hated seeing her like that, suffering, and for her because she was the one in pain.

Liz was dealing with an immeasurable pain, she couldn't decipher what was causing it but she knew that it was something bad.
Still in that state, questions were running in Elizabeth’s mind like why Red was prepared to give her that medicine or why they weren’t going to a common hospital, her thoughts were interrupted when they were greeted by a team of doctors and nurses that immediately took her inside with a stretcher. The place seemed abandoned as if it had once been a club, but she was in no condition to demand anything, so she had to accept what Reddington was willing to give her.

When Red first had arranged everything to have 7 as Liz’s emergency number, he made sure that it would be a big place, with all the necessary equipment, with the best general doctors and nurses, not to mention the cardiologists and other specialists. He couldn’t make a mistake when it came to Elizabeth, the woman he loved, the one that was his heart, his life and that was fighting for her life, and it was all because of him.

Red was brought back from his thoughts when he heard a doctor calling for him to get inside, another thing that he had make sure was that he could be at Liz’s side every second, obviously not obstructing the doctors, but the nearest he could be.

He entered and his heart turned more sore at the image of Elizabeth with an oxygen mask on, an IV, and a pair of patches attached to her chest, among other tubes and machines. He was told by a doctor that a surgery was needed due to the damage that her heart suffered during the crisis, not only because of this one, but because she had had other crises that she believed were panic attacks so she didn’t mention them to anyone. Although the other times were less serious, this time was nearly fatal, her heart was too damaged and a pacemaker needed to be inserted.

Doctors didn’t know how much time it was going to last due to her amount of damage, a heart transplant was needed but the pacemaker could do for some time. He couldn’t bear to think what would happen if he lost Lizzie, his ray of light in all the darkness that surrounded him. He was willing to do whatever was necessary in order to ensure her a happy and safe life, even when he knew that Elizabeth would hate him for the rest of her life. He wanted to be there for her in spite of her rejection.

Thinking about the pacemaker made him reflect about the fact that Elizabeth wasn’t going to be able to do many things and that made him feel sick because he knew the free spirit she had and no matter how hard he tried, she wouldn’t be happy with that life, so all of a sudden he shouted “Stop!”, and every pair of eyes fixed on him. Knowing that he had their attention, he continued “She is the strongest woman I know, she is smart, beautiful and I know she wouldn't like to live a limited life,” he said and turned to the doctor in charge and asked “How much time can you keep her like this, without operating?”

 

The doctor thought for a few moments and then answered “It’s difficult to say in her condition, many things can change in a matter of seconds, but I could say that maybe 3 hours if everything goes the right way.”

 

Red started thinking about his options and finally spoke “Okay, keep her like that, do not operate now, I’m gonna get a heart for her.” Plans already creating in his mind, he would use all his resources if necessary but he wouldn’t lose this race.